LABRANDA Varadero Select Resort
12 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
My vacation was the best vacation Iâve...
"My vacation was the best vacation Iâve been on in a while and I felt care free and the food was amazing. The only thing I could suggest to this resort was to have more comfortable pillows.
I loved the beach and the pool and the night life was also very fun I was happy to no that it wasnât all older couples there and that there was a fairly young crowed to hang out with. It was always entertaining.
- Travel date: Tue 1st of February 2005
This hotel had very poor quality service...
"This hotel had very poor quality service, very few employees spoke English, and when they did they were not professional.
We travelled there with low expectations, and found that they were not low enough. The food was very poor, however, we assumed that the service would make up for It.
The beaches are beautiful, however, there is a rip-tide near the rocks on either side of the beach, with no warning-signs. It is definitely not safe for children or elderly, especially people that are not strong swimmers.
If you tip the maids they will make nice towel sculptures for you the next morning, and sometimes leave more water for you in your fridge.
The safe is 30 dollars a week to rent, and laundry says it is free, but it is not.
If you are going to do a tour, bring toys for kids in the poor towns, donât give to people in hotel area, they are not appreciative.
We definitely do not recommend this hotel, we do have safety concerns with the beach, elevator, and light switches. If you have to go be careful! It is 50/50 that you will have a good trip."
- Travel date: Fri 30th of April 2004
"The Bahia Principe was a huge let down. Having travelled quite a few times in the islands I could not have been more dissapointed with this resort. It should not be a 4+ star rating, maybe a 3. The staff were not friendly and took a take it or leave it attitude with the customers. The food was below even Cuban standards. We were there two days and they had all ready run out of some items. Activities for the kids were none existent, the so called store was always closed, We booked 3 months in advance and still did not get the queen size beds as promised. Because my daughter is 14 they forced us to pay for two rooms so we requested ajoining rooms...they couldn't even get that right. The mattresses were horrible and the pillows were like pancakes.The only bright spot was in town where the locals were friendly and the food edible."
- Travel date: Tue 6th of January 2004
Beautiful, Big, Clean, and just Amazing
"Bahia was a very wonderful resort! I went with my parents during the first week that it had opened in August. There was hardly anyone there, which was pleasent. The hotel staff was very couritous, my father often gave them a tip which they appreciated very much, (tips are not nessesary).The food, well my parents loved it, being Italian my dad has pasta every night, along with something small. Myself being a picky eater only liked a few things. I love pasta, but I did not have it because I only eat my Nonna's and moms pasta. I mostly had the frenchfries which i enjoyed very much. The A la carte restaurants were very nice. When my fathers glass of wine was close to being finished a member of the staff would replace wit with another full glass, same with my mothers and my drinks. The beach was very beautiful. The water was veyr nice, clam, but picked up a bit by late afternoon. I must go finished my homework now...but i would recommend Bahia Veradero to anyone, its a beautifel place! I am returing to it in march with my zia,zio, n 2 cousins."
- Travel date: Sun 4th of January 2004
Bahia resort fantastic
"My Family and I stayed at the Bahia Principe, the week of December 20-27 and had a fantastic time. Starting off with a 4 hour delay at the Toronto airport, I figured this was how the rest of the vacation was going to go. but as soon as we arrived, I knew it was going to get better. Check- in was a little hectic, but once we got our oceanfront room all was well again. The room was clean and nicely decorated with a beautiful view of the ocean. We proceeded to explore the resort upon our arrival and found it to be spacious and clean, considering the hotel was probably at full capacity, all week I never felt like I was tripping over people. sometimes you would have to line up at the buffet, but never for more then 20 minutes. People had warned me about the food in Cuba , but my family and I were pleasantly surprised by the taste and the wide variety at the buffet. They also had a snack bar with stuff, ranging from hamburgers to steak on a bun, all of which were pretty good. They also had 3 a la carte restaurants, a Italian one, a seafood one, and a gourmet one, we just time to try the gourmet, which was OK , I had the shrimp which were pretty good. Reservations were required, we pretty much enjoyed the buffet just as well. The only problem was the temperature of the food, which I found consistently lukewarm. I got use to it after a while. The weather was a bit cold at first, but warmed up mid week, so we managed to get a few days in at the beach, which was beautiful, the waves were just right. The pool was simply to cold for me all week, I preferred the beach, but some people braved the cold and dove in, the pool is heated by solar panels, so if its overcast look out. The bars were great, the local drink is the Mohito, a little strong for me...... I drank Pina Coladas and Rum Punches all week, both which were very good. I found the staff to be friendly and service to be pretty good, we left the maid gifts each day, which I was told was the common thing to do, she thanked us and made sure everything in our room was just right..... right down to the duck and fresh flowers made out of towels on the bed. We ventured into Varadero and went to the flea markets which were really good. just a little hint.... bring your own toilet paper when traveling off the resort, none was supplied elsewhere, expect in higher end restaurants.
We para-sailed off the beach, which was fun. We booked a swim with the dolphins, which was just down the street from the resort, the water was freezing and not that clean, picture Marine land in a couple hundred years , the experience was good overall, we bought the photos of this experience and my daughter also wanted the video...which they delivered to the hotel later that day........we sat down to watch it yesterday and it was blank........$ 35 US down the drain. we aren't sure if the scanners at the airports had something to do with it or not. But just a warning. They had another dolphin excursion to book, which included a catamaran ride, lunch, snorkeling and a swim with the dolphins that appeared to be penned in the ocean , not a run down amusement park.
Unfortunately this wasn't available due to the weather conditions. Our hotel was overbooked on Xmas eve, so they offered us a free trip to Havana, which included a bus tour , accommodations overnight , and meals. Old Havana was fantastic to tour around, the history and culture of Cuba is fascinating to me. The market was bigger then Varadero's, the vendors were a little more aggressive to sell you their wares to you, but you quickly learn to ignore them. The tour of Havana included a stop at a cigar factory, hemingways house and his favorite hot spots thru out Havana. We couldn't have asked for a better tour guide for the excursion. He wasn't afraid to answer any questions about his country and was very forthcoming regarding his views about Cuba's history and ever changing future. The resort shows were pretty good, the girl dancers were really flexible. Their activities ranged from trivia at the bar to beach games. We spent our last full day with fantastic people we met at the resort, going for a horseback ride, drinking rum punches and lounging at the beach. Overall our experience was great, my only advice would be ....... don't forget your toilet paper !!"
- Travel date: Thu 1st of January 2004
Loved the Bahia Principe
"Just returned from spending Xmas week at the Bahia Principe in Varadero. We had a fantastic time! We had upgraded to an oceanside villa so the view was fantastic. The food was excellent & plentiful. The private beach was pristine & groomed daily. It was cloudy & rained one day but we were in the ocean every day. We brought 50 $1.00 bills & tipped generously. It paid off in extra attention & a warm fuzzy feeling. The maids make $15.00 U.S. a month! So, a buck a day is a big deal. we highly recommend the Bahia but bring a voltage convertor to recharge your batteries etc. The flea market in Varadero (45th street) was awesome & very cheap. Enjoy!"
- Travel date: Wed 31st of December 2003
"Let's begin..our flight was delayed 3 hours which is not the fault of the resort however when we arrived, our room was still not ready. It was suggested that we have some lunch at the buffet of which our first impression was very poor. The food at this resort was terrible. We have been to Cuba before and our expectations of the food were low however this place did not even meet our low expectations. The food was oily, watery and the majority of it looked like mush. To add to our dissatisfaction, the staff in the restaurants were not very friendly (with the exception of a few) as it seemed every time we asked for something (like a clean table or cutlery), we were imposing on them.
When our room was finally ready, we were led to a room on the main level which at first glance was very plain and kinda tacky. We could live with this however the patio doors did not have a lock on them so we called the front desk to ask them to fix this. It took 5 more calls for them to finally agree to move us to a room on the 3rd level which did have a lock on the patio door. In our new room, the bed skirt was dirty and the TV only had 3-4 english channels. I know we are not supposed to go on vacation to watch TV however when the weather is not so great and you can't find a seat by the pool, sometimes you just want to rest in your room with the TV. All in all, this is definitely not a 4* resort. Everything is very spread out and one pool is not enough for the amount of people at this resort. Our highlight of our trip was going home although even that presented it's challanges when there was confusion with the buses going to airport."
- Travel date: Wed 31st of December 2003
"We just returned from a week in Varadero and had wished that we had booked 2 weeks instead of just one. The staff at the Bahai could not have been more friendly and accomodating any requests that we may have had. The staff in general were TERRIFIC!!!! They would ALWAYS say hello and talk to you as they realized that you were interested in them as well. Any staff that you talked to would always say hello to you for the rest of the week as they would recognize you, a very nice touch indeed. The resort itself was fantastic. I thought it was well laid out and when you went for a walk on the trails, you hardly ever saw any of the other 500 guests. The grounds were VERY well kept and the beach was always groomed each morning and the staff would run after you and make sure that you had a chair and a pad for it and make sure that it was cleaned off for you. The beach was exclusive to the resort which was an added attraction as the next beach was used by 6 resorts and people were literally sitting on top of each other. Our beach was well looked after and you felt that you could go into the water and know that your belongings were safe. The rooms, we were in a villa, were wonderful.
The view out our window was an ocean view and it was spectacular!! The maids made sure that you were looked after and we made sure that we left them something each and every morning with a special treat on Christmas day. Our maid made sure that she got our address and asked us to wite to her and we look forward to doing so. We went deep sea fishing and were successful in catching some fish and seeing a sea turtle and a shark. The flea markets in Varadero and well worth the trip. We would recommend this resort to anyone and look forward to next year when we are planning to spend 2 weeks there."
- Travel date: Wed 31st of December 2003
"Review of Bahia Principe Varadero By Greg Rogers, TorontoAbout us:My wife, 21-year-old daughter and I just returned from two weeks (December 13 27) at the Bahia Principe in Varadero, Cuba. It was our first all inclusive trip and our first family vacation outside of North America. So, we are certainly not travel experts. I can tell you right off the bat we ll do it again and would love to return to Varadero and the Bahia although likely not over Christmas as the weather was a bit disappointing.Booking the Vacation:We were really traveling blind here didn t know where we wanted to go - just knew how much we had to spend. The travel agent suggested reading Debbie s Travel Reviews and that helped us select Cuba and the Bahia Principe. One suggestion I had read on an earlier review was to e-mail the hotel and request an ocean front room I did this and we got one I m not sure if the two are related but hey, it worked so I certainly advise it.Trip down:It was an on-going game of hurry up and wait. Got to Toronto airport at 4am (darn that s early) to join a long but relatively fast-moving line-up at Air Transat. The plane was about an hour late leaving because of a small problem with the plane. The trip was pleasant enough - the cabin crew were very helpful. Everything I had heard about tour groups being squeezed into an airplane was true. I m 6 feet and my legs were sure glad to reach Varadero, as it was a pretty tight fit in the plane. We had pre-booked (and paid for) seat selection and I m glad we did because it was nice to sit together and through more good luck than good management we were among the first off the plane which allowed us to proceed through Cuban immigration very briskly.The Cubans insist that each individual go through immigration separately (as compared to going through as a family in Canada). This was a bit slower than in Canada (and must have been very slow for those at the back of the plane due to line-ups). But we arrived at the baggage carousel before our luggage. The baggage experience was our first taste that things were gonna be, er, different, in that they had a guy taking the luggage off and stacking it before it had a chance to come to you. However, all our luggage arrived (which is the only important thing) and we proceeded through customs which was surprisingly unobtrusive didn t really even get a glance from the customs types.I was still on Toronto mentality and quickly found out our bus number and hurried to find it. That was just silly as we sat for exactly an hour waiting for the bus to fill up with its assigned passengers before leaving. The trip in took about a half hour and was an interesting ride through Varadero.I would recommend that you divvy up tasks upon arrival at the hotel (one getting the luggage, one getting in line to check in) as we waited for our luggage before joining the end of a long and sluggish check-in line. After a long day, little sleep and arrival in Cuba in Canadian clothing a long line-up was frustrating. After about a half hour I reached check-in and my heart sunk when I was told our room would not be ready for about an hour. I came back to wife and daughter and dejectedly told them we had made a mistake this was not fun. We went down to the buffet restaurant to pass time.I went back after about 45 mins and got our keys. We were taken to a bungalow on the west side of the compound and upon entering the mood changed and we fell in love with the Bahia and Varadero. The bungalow room was quite spacious for 3 people. It was clean, bright and looked out at the Ocean. My wife and I just sat smiling at each other for awhile.Bahia PrincipeAlthough at first there were a few frustrations (five trips to the front desk before I could get a key for the room safe, seven trips before we could get beach towels) it shortly became paradise on earth.The beach is about a km long. It is secluded and has minimal vendors disturbing you (the few they allow on added to the fun for us a lady taking pictures for souvenir t-shirts, a guy chopping coconuts to drink from .fun stuff). Even during the busy Christmas week we never found it over-crowded. The water was warm. Some days the ocean was smooth and some days we had enough surf for my daughter and I to body surf.Bars and RestaurantsThe buffet restaurant was fine. The serving staff was especially helpful and friendly. They certainly did appreciate a tip but it wasn t necessary. During Christmas week with the hotel at full occupancy the lines at the buffet could be quite long but there was lots of good food to go around. It took us a few days to learn to just pick what we wanted and not try to take a bit of everything. They have a wide assortment of salads, entrees and the desert table made my waist expand every time I looked at it.We went to each of the a la carte restaurants twice (we were there for 2 weeks). It really is advisable to book your reservations with the public relations staff in the hotel lobby sooner rather than later to assure your get the nights and times you want. Our favourite was the Italian restaurant Mamma Mia but all three offered tasty food, great service and a fine ambience. My wife made a mistake ordering the lobster (an addition $18) at the seafood restaurant as it came burnt and over-cooked. But that was the only complaint. The lamb at the international was very good. The wine at all three was nice. And the anti-pasta buffets at all three offered a wide range including marvelous smoked salmon (Norwegian I think).We spent a lot of time at both the pool and beach bars. Both are very informal. The food at the beach bar is great (the ham and cheese sandwiches we loved). One of the earlier reviews had suggested bringing your own glasses as the cups they give you at the beach bar (and the pool bar during the daytime) are tiny. Of course I forgot to do this but quickly remedied that with our first trip into Varadero. The bartenders laughed when they saw me approach with my newly purchased mugs but filled them right up. I m not kidding otherwise the cups are tiny.The pool bar at night was good fun to sit around and meet people. Some nights the line at the bar could get quite long but I found having an American dollar bill on display could speed that up.One warning there is smoking everywhere - the restaurants, the bars, the lobby, the airport.The entertainmentOur only complaint was that the entertainment started too late. During the daytime they had activities going on (beach volleyball, trivial pursuit, other stuff) but we were far more into laying on the beach and avoided all of that. In the evenings they had mini-disco at 8:30pm for the kids. This was led by a very exuberant young lady in a clown outfit. It was good fun for both the kids and the spectators. Some nights they would have a show at the pool bar at 9pm. This was usually ok except for the night they had the animal act (goats, dogs and a pony jumping through hoops). It was so bad that it was hilarious.At 10pm every night they had a young troupe of dancers at the theatre who put on various themed shows. We enjoyed the more Cuban entertainment while my daughter loved the salute to music videos.At 11pm the Pueblo Cubano opened. We only went a couple times because of the time but really enjoyed each evening. The Cuban band was sensational really getting the audience involved and dancing. The Mr. Bahia contest was hilarious. One of my fav nights. And a Canadian won!The disco started at midnight but it was obviously just for young singles. Apparently the entertainment went on til 4am but I only know that from hearsay.One thing I must mention is the song Bahia Principe . It is still going through my head. I loved it so much that I tracked down the cd from the disc jockey ($13) and will play it for years. I m not a dancer but nobody can sit still through that song.The weatherWe were there for 14 days. Seven I ranked as nice. Seven I ranked as not nice. Some days it was cold or windy or rainy or all of the above. We soon learned to head into Varadero on the not so nice days. Nothing can be done about the weather but I suspect when we return to Cuba it will be in March not December.VaraderoI met a guy I knew from Toronto at the Bahia. A seasoned traveler to Cuba. He asked what we found to do in Varadero. I think he was surprised when we said LOTS. The flea market (and the two pseudo flea markets) were fun to poke around. Unlike Havana the vendors weren t all over you. We bought some neat stuff my wife found a stained glass lamp, some ceramics and a beautiful crocheted blanket that she loved. I'm more into kitsch and there was certainly lots of that (now decorating my home office). My daughter got her hair braided at one of the local s houses. The Cubans are incredibly friendly people. The level of English is low but the level of effort and smiling is certainly 100%. I always felt very safe in Varadero (not Havana).After a string of buffet days we decided to try out the local cuisine in Varadero. We had a great lunch (hamburger, pizza, and bar-b-que d chicken with soft drinks for $8 total) one day. And also enjoyed a wonderful Christmas eve dinner of great tasting lobster with lots of alcohol for a very reasonable price at an open air place with a peaked thatched roof around 55th avenue.There is also a mall known as Plaza American. It has a fine assortment of clothing and gifts. In particular I ll recommend a T-shirt shop located on the north end of the courtyard. It had quality shirts and sweaters (which we needed to buy) at good prices. We also fell in love with the grocery store. My daughter s eyes lit up at seeing Pepsi (Cuban pop is pretty, er, generic). My wife loved the crackers and cream cheese available. I had fun picking up various munchies.Side TripsWe took two Havana and the Dolphin cruise.Havana: Rather than pay the $65 a head to do the formal Havana tour we rented a taxi for $150 for the day. The taxi driver spoke decent English and certainly knew his way around Havana. We enjoyed the sights (Hemingway s bar, old Havana, new Havana, Cigar Factory, etc.) and had a delightful lunch at a backyard restaurant that the driver knew where they grilled pig over an open fire delicious! I m a baseball nut so I had asked the driver specifically to go to Latin-America Stadium, which unfortunately was closed but did have a small souvenir store where I went a bit crazy. The only downside of Havana was the flea market. I felt hassled, confrontational and frankly, unsafe. The vendors and individuals around were very pushy and didn t take no for an answer very well. My fav memory is one guy asking me Did I want a girlfriend? No, I replied. He then asked How about Cigars? I thought that was an interesting transition.My wife got into quite an argument with a local lady who changed her price halfway through a transaction but my wife can handle that sort of thing quite well. I wouldn t go back to the flea market.Dolphin Cruise: The highlight of our two weeks was the catamaran trip. We had a beautiful sunny day. My daughter loved the dolphins. My wife and I loved the private island beach we stopped at for lunch, swimming and sun tanning. It was a perfect day. The crew was very entertaining and it was just perfect in very way. I felt sorry for those who took this trip on the cold or rainy days but apparently you can cancel right up to the last minute if you happen to get a nasty day. The cost for three of us was $225 US. Worth every penny.MiscellaneousSome random thoughts:Although the Bahia was mostly Canadian, there were Germans, Italians, Poles and French there as well. Made for interesting people to meet. Whoever wrote that the atmosphere was conservative in beach customs wasn t there when we were. Let s just say that bikini tops appeared to be very optional.We brought presents to give the maid each morning. Chocolates, toiletries, Christmas Stuff. She seemed quite grateful but I suspect it makes no difference in your maid service they really run a clean hotel. Tip the mini-bar guy or he tends to disappear for a few days. No biggie as there was more than enough alcohol to suit us at the bars, restaurants, etc. Don t buy cigars at any place other than the recognized humidors. Although it seems like half the population will try to sell you cheaper versions they really are quite strict about this. I found it handy to keep a few one-dollar bills on me at all times. You can go to hotel reception and they ll break a $20 or whatever anytime. Probably not necessary to tip as often as I did but it didn t hurt. You will be hard-pressed to spend much money on a vacation like this. Aside from the day trips into Havana and the Dolphin cruise we spent very little. I was pleasantly shocked to find how much we returned with. There is no interac. If you want to take money out it has to be done through a non-American credit card. Do not count on accessing your chequing or savings account. Toilet paper anytime you are away from the Bahia you will be glad that you brought your own.OverallI have absolutely no hesitation in recommending the Bahia and Varadero to anybody. Although we were a bit disappointed in the weather we had a truly wonderful time. There is something there for everyone. The other guests were friendly and easy to have conversations with (although the main one seemed to be What part of Toronto are you from? ). The pool is huge and was never crowded. The staff is helpful and very friendly. We have nothing but fond memories and suntans. Cuba si!!!"
- Travel date: Tue 30th of December 2003
Bahia Principe Varadero is not that good...
"We just returned from one-week stay in Bahia Principe Varadero. Property is very small, with very narrow walking paths, steps everywhere, in one place more then 10 of very steep steps, making it is impossible to use bikes or baby strollers. The beach is probably around 800 1000 m in length but very narrow, on both sides of beach there are huge rock outcrops, so there is definitely no way to walk and explore wonderful Varadero shore unless one claims over, but again, on one side where it borders with Sol Palmeras resort there is a fence which goes down to the ocean, and is inaccessible. Very disappointing. There is only one pool, which is not big enough for the number of guests hotel had. Everyday there are planned activities in the pool (scuba diving lessons, water ball, aqua) and then it cannot be used at all. To get a spot near the pool is virtually impossible, as even at 7.00 almost all chairs are taken. The food was usual Cuban buffet, dishes were always dirty, on several occasions we had to go through 5-7 plates to find relatively clean one. If you get into buffet 45min- 1 hour after it is open, there usually no clean tables, that why there usually a line up for lunch and specially for dinner, as people try to be first. For dinner there was crowd at the doors at 6.30pm waiting to be open at 7pm. There are 3 a la carte restaurants Italian, Seafood and Gourmet. Italian was overbooked, we had reservations for 8pm, when we arrived at 8.05 there was a line of at least 10-15 people with reservations for between 7.30 and 8.00, we waited until 8.30 to be seated. I cannot say anything about the food there as we left before getting main course as the wait time was ridiculous - 1 hour. I saw several guests walked out too. Italian and Seafood are the same restaurant and same staff but serving one day Italian and the other seafood. The worst and most disappointing part of all was staff attitude. It was not our first trip to Cuba, and we adore Cuban people always smiling, friendly, accommodating and we always had excellent service, which was a kind of compensation for some deficiencies in Cuban tourist industry. But in this resort we were just appalled and shocked at how indifferent and unenthusiastic all member of the staff were. Nobody smiled when they see us, nobody greeted us. In Bahia Principe everybody is just doing their job, and in most cases doing it good, but you do not feel that special touch that so characteristic for Cubans. You can walk by a dozen of staff members; they would talk to each other, sometime just looking at you without even saying Hola, but in most cases even not looking at you. Kids especially were disappointed, as animation staff was really really unenthusiastic, as was the water sports staff. It looked like everybody was expecting tips, but even that did now warrant you good service. Children had especially difficult time to get service in any of the bars, as barmen just ignored them serving tipping customers. Although there is kids club and brochure says there are kids activities they are almost non-existent. 30 min a day mini disco, kids club looks so dismal that no parents would be so cruel as to send its kids there. This resort is very bad for kids. The most appalling things happened when one of the guests forgot some personal belongings after a show, and staff members actually went around asking whose that was. The owner had already left the show and could not claim it. Two days later other guests told that lady that one of her belongings was found and she went to reception to pick it up. To everybody s shock not just her belongings were not reported to reception (in violation of the resort policies), but also staff including public relations representative categorically denied ever having it in possession despite having eye witnesses who saw someone from the staff members with the item. And that was really scary as we did not feel ourselves secure anymore. It is definitely not 5 stars and it is not a place you would want to return. And it seems to be a general opinion of almost everybody we talked at resort and later on the plane and many people felt that this resort does not live up to all advertising, recommendations and suggestions of travel agents, that overall it is way overpriced and it is not worth the price paid. For family of 4 it is $6000 I saw on Debbie s discussions board suggestion that this resort is overrated and its sudden increase in popularity is a result of a massive advertising campaign. Cannot agree more."
- Travel date: Tue 30th of December 2003
"I stayed at Bahia Principe the week of Dec 13 - 20 2003. 5 women. All
of us are in our mid twenties. We have all been to Cuba before at
different resorts and agreed that this was the best stay so fay..
(Previously stayed at Breezes Jibacoa and Villa Cuba). I would
recommend this resort to anyone. The grounds were beautiful. The staff
was very friendly and helpful. Here is a breakdown of the resort.
RESORT: Very clean. Beach and pool area were always clean and there was
always someone picking up any cups or garbage around. Rooms were clean
spacious and air conditioned. You could control the temperature in your
room. Blow dries in room are not that great so I suggest bringing your
own. Clean towels provided by pool area and you could exchange them as
many times as you wanted at no cost.
FOOD: The food was better that I expected. The selection at the buffet
was excellent. Large selection of fresh breads at all meals. Morning
buffet consisted of every breakfast food you could think of (omelets,
bacon, pancakes, French toast, fresh fruit, fruit smoothies made to
order etc.) Lunch and dinner at the buffet varied daily. At lunch there
was always a pasta bar at the buffet area. There was also a beach grill
with burgers, chicken/ steak/grilled veggie or ham and cheese
sandwiches with fries. I enjoyed the selection at the buffet more that
the a la carte restaurants, of which there are three; Italian, Seafood
and International. There is also a 24hr snack bar with the same menu as
the beach grill.
DRINKS: Alcohol is available 24hrs a day. Five bars in total. Excellent
specialty drinks at the Piano bar. Try the daiquiris. Piano bar has the
best drinks. Imported alcohol available at some bars at no extra
charge. Beer is pretty good. Mini fridge in room with bottled water,
beer and pop is stocked daily.
BEACH: Beautlful but the weather wasn't great for the week so most days
were red flagged because the water was rough.
ENTERTAINMENT AND NIGHTLIFE: There were daily activities by the pool
daily and two shows nightly. Excellent -very professionally done. Even
had a synchronized swimming show one night. Club at the resort was
usually empty so we opted to go off of the resort. Going off resorts to
party is safe in Varadero. Here are my club reviews. All off resort
clubs are $10 to get with unlimited drinks included Pirates Cave -
Directly beside the resort. Crowd is 75% tourists. Music is mostly
North American but they played a lot of the same songs over. A lot of
Eminem and 50 Cent. La Rumba - $7 cab ride away. A lot of fun. Not very
big. Mostly locals. Music was mixed. 80's hip-hop, R&B, some salsa The
International - $5 cab ride. The best club we went to. Attached to
Hotel International. Large with a lot of seating. There is a salsa show
first before the dance floor opens. Great music. Hip-Hip, R&B, reggae,
pop etc. Crowd was half tourist half locals. Mambo Club - $5 cab ride
away. The last time I was in Cuba this club was packed but this time it
was dead. We only stayed for a few minutes. Mostly older couples. We
went on a Wednesday night and apparently it gets buys on weekends. Club
Havana - $7 cab ride. Mostly tourists. Great music. Not that big. Gets
busy around midnight.
SCUBA DIVING - If you are scuba diving Bay of Pigs is a must see. I
went with Baracuba. $70 for two dives. 8:45 am to 7 pm.
*Don't buy alcohol or cigars at the resort. They are cheaper at the duty free in the airport.*
If you have any other questions just e-mail me."
- Travel date: Sun 28th of December 2003
This is the one!
"Wonderful hotel, great beach, great people, and fantastic service. We couldn't be happier. No need to read any more reviews, just book at the Bahia Principe!"
- Travel date: Sat 27th of December 2003